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Pacifica Schools Act Against All-Cuts Budget

The district is showing support this week for keeping Pacifica's public education funded.

It is the California Teacher's Association Week of Action and in Pacifica School District, educators, parent-teacher organizations and the district board of directors will participate in events and initiatives to oppose a cuts-only state budget.

Monday night, Pacifica City Council passed a resolution in support of the Week of Action that closely followed the language of a resolution approved by the school district board two weeks prior. 

The bottom line for both resolutions was clear:

"Pacifica School District may be forced to cut up to $1.5 million from its budget if the Legislature does not pass revenue extensions," reads the city council's resolution. "To begin to reverse this downward spiral, Californians must retain the revenues that enable us to invest in our schools and students." 

According to Wendy Tukloff, superintendent of Pacifica School District (PSD), PSD may face a budget of approximately $4,600 per student should a cuts-only state budget pass, less than the current funding of about $4,980 per student.

State funding accounts for 90 percent of the school district's budget. 

Compare this large percentage to funding from grants and foundations which account for only 2 percent of the budget and the voter-approved parcel tax (Measure N) which supports 5 percent of the budget. Parent teacher organizations also generate funding for 2 percent of the budget. The remaining 1 percent is financed by federal stimulus money.      

Nevertheless, Tukloff said that every source of funding is essential and "the community has been very generous." 

In just one example of generosity, the Pacifica Education Foundation raised $250,000 for Pacifica schools in 2009 and is currently campaigning to raise more funds. 

"We cannot afford to take any more reductions," said Tukloff. "If you want quality education, you have to restore funding, not reduce it." 

Educate Our State, a grassroots, parent-led organization in support of reform to the California state public school system, will visit Pacifica next week to share a message similar to Tukloff's. Local group Saving Pacifica Schools will host the organization at its next meeting in , 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

Saving Pacifica Schools is using Facebook to publish details about the event. Kalimah Salahuddin, President of Saving Pacifica Schools, said on the group's Facebook page,"We need to take part in more statewide activity to effect change."   

All week long, Saving Pacifica Schools is encouraging support for PSD through simple commitments posted on the group's website such as writing a letter of appreciation to a Pacifica teacher.

Educators from Pacifica and the region will attend a rally at the Civic Centre Plaza in San Francisco at 4 p.m. on Friday. 

Stay tuned to Pacifica Patch in the coming week for updates on Week of Action. 

Bruce Hotchkiss May 11, 2011 at 03:30 PM
My understanding of the Lotto money is that it is not in addition to but in place of tax dollars. A loophole in the original intent I believe.
Karen Ervin May 11, 2011 at 05:25 PM
Just to follow up on Bruce's response concerning lottery funds: These lottery funds were intended to supplement rather than replace other education funds provided by the state of Califonia. Today lottery funding accounts for approximately 1.5% of funding for schools. In recent years schools have also endured ferocious budget cuts from the state, and the lottery funding has in fact been used to replace rather than supplement the education budget.
Anastasia Crosson May 13, 2011 at 05:36 AM
These are great questions, and something I often wondered myself. This is a tidbit taken directly from the California lottery website (http://www.calottery.com/support/lotteryfunds/): "A 2008/2009 Report of Lottery Expenditures for K-12 education prepared by the California Department of Education reports that on average 63% of Lottery funds are spent on salaries and benefits for instructors, 20% on classroom materials such as textbooks while the remainder is spent in other areas. In FY 2009/2010, revenues from the Lottery generated $129 per pupil, or $1.1 billion total and supported over 8.567 million students in California’s public schools. " Anastasia Crosson, Patch contributing writer
Charles May 19, 2011 at 01:55 AM
Public Schools: Make Them Private !!!!!!!!!!!!!! by Milton Friedman Milton Friedman, a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1976. http://www.cato.org/pubs/briefs/bp-023.html
Charles May 19, 2011 at 01:55 AM
Privatization of a town’s public schools would solve many problems. It would reduce the cost of education and thereby lower property taxes used to support them. It would eliminate the need of a centralized state administrative apparatus, with its high-paying administrators and assistant administrators. It would free local schools to adopt learning programs that actually work, thereby improving student achievement. It would re-invent the idea of educational freedom, on the foundation of which this nation was built. It would also get rid of the stranglehold that the teachers’ unions have on the schools. www.thenewamerican.com/.../7366-should-the-public-schools-be-privatized

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